This week, though, I've heard on the radio several times that around age 37/38 people claim to start feeling old. I scoffed. I don't feel like I'm old. I still feel young, vibrant, and energetic. But this radio spot that kept coming on has gotten me thinking. Hmmm....
- I enjoy keeping things routine. Trainer workout on Monday. Volleyball followed by Rancheritos on Wednesday. Ballroom dancing on Friday. West Coast Swing dancing on Saturday. And resuming next week, Tuesday night dancing outdoors to live music in downtown.
- I don't like staying up late anymore. (Ok, aside from the fact that I'm writing this at 1am, I am usually not awake at this hour. The only reason I'm up this late is because of the dancing. And because stress kept me awake last night, so I took a long nap this afternoon, and now I'm not ready to go to bed.) Usually, during the week I'm in bed by 10 and on the weekend.... maybe a little later, depending on dancing.
Confession time. I've not gone to a couple friend's birthday parties recently because they conflict with dancing. And also because they revolve around food. I have been invited to birthday dinners out at restaurants. Yes, I feel some sadness about not being with my friends to celebrate these milestones in their lives. And, yes, I do wonder if they'll come to my birthday event since I didn't go to theirs. But these are the choices I'm making right now because it's how I'm taking care of me in the best way I know how to do in this moment.
Partly I haven't gone because of finances; I don't have a big budget for eating out. (I'd rather spend my entertainment money on doing, not eating.) The other reason, the big reason, is that I don't want my social life to revolve around food. Using food for entertainment is a big reason why I got overweight in the first place. I want to spend time with my friends DOING something, not EATING. *Note: only one event in my weekly routine has food attached, and that food comes after a lot of physical activity.
I guess that's why I'm not planning a big birthday party for myself. I don't want it to be about food - I want it to be about time with my friends. That's why I'm planning to continue doing my favorite activities during my birthday week, but I'm inviting my friends to join me. And there may or may not be birthday cake. What I want more is just to be around people I care about who also care about me. That's what's important to me.
So to my friend's whose birthday dinners I have missed - I'm sorry. I do love and care about you. I enjoy the time we spend together at volleyball, dancing, or other activities; however, I don't want to give up my beloved activities to spend several hours sitting and eating. I love you, but I also love me. And I love me too much to not take care of myself by not doing the physical activities I love. For too many years I put myself on the back burner. I'm taking care of me now.
My dear friends, I have some sadness about not attending your birthday dinners. You are important. I feel a tug in my heart to go. But I also feel a strong tug in my heart to go dance and enjoy the things I love - a healthy (and budget friendly) dinner at home and dancing for hours. I'm listening to my heart as it tells me what my body needs to have peace right now. Is that getting old, or is that just maturity and self-awareness....